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Mom Dies in House Fire After Dramatic Rescue of Her Newborn

Photograph by CBS

Illinois mom Shelby Carter, who died in a house fire over the weekend, is being called a hero for putting her newborn baby's life ahead of her own.

When Carter realized her house was in flames, she ran to the baby, who was on the second floor of the house. Trapped by flames and smoke, Carter couldn't run to safety. The only way to get the baby out was through the window.

So she strapped 10-day-old Keana into her carseat and dropped her from a second-story window. Wyoming, Ill., firefighters and paramedics found the child safe in the carseat. When they went into the home to look for others, they found Carter, who died after being trapped inside. An autopsy concluded that she'd succumbed to smoke inhalation.

Stark County Sheriff Steve Sloan described Carter's selfless act to reporters. Family and friends said they weren't surprised by Carter's actions. They described the new mom, who had turned 21 just the night before, as passionate about children, and that Keana had been the best thing to happen to her.

Photograph by CBS

A GoFundMe page was started to cover Carter's funeral costs and to help her family and the baby. Already, more than $36,000 has been raised.

Rescue workers praised Carter for her quick and shrewd actions to save baby Keana, whom they found on the ground and out of harm's way when they arrived at the scene. The baby was rushed to the hospital and is in good condition.

Investigators have yet to determine what caused the fire.

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